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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

APRC factions speak on Ecomig-MFDC gun battle

APRC factions speak on Ecomig-MFDC gun battle

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By Omar Bah

The Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction led by Fabakary Tombong Jatta has urged President Adama Barrow to, as a matter of urgency, review the agreement that facilitated the deployment of Senegalese troops in Foni.

The former ruling party’s calls followed demands from a respected Foni organization FARD which called for the immediate total withdrawal of the forces from Foni after the reported clashes with MFDC rebels. The group claimed the area has been rendered unsafe by the presence of the Senegalese forces.

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In a statement issued on Friday, the APRC said: “We want to urge President Adama Barrow to treat the incident with urgency to restore peace and tranquility in the region and review the agreement that led to the Senegalese troops stationed in Foni and the Gambia Government. We want to assure the people of Foni and Gambians at large of our unflinching support at all times. May we attain lasting peace and security in our homeland. The party also extended deepest sympathy to the people of Foni and satellite villages affected by the recent exchange of gunfire.

“In the same vein we are extending our heartfelt condolences to the families of the soldiers and any lost lives caused by the unfortunate incident, we wish speedy recoveries to those injured and we pray for the departed souls to attain eternal peace and be granted Janneh.”

Meanwhile, the rival faction of the party led by Yaya Tamba too has released a statement on the matter. Part of their long statement reads:

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“We are calling on all the ECOWAS heads of state to arbitrate the conflict between the MFDC separatist rebels of Senegal and the Senegalese Armed Forces, who are using Gambian territory to settle their foreign scores. The gun battle on Monday, 24 January 2022, is the latest incident, which was caused by the Senegalese Army in Foni, causing panic, terror, and displacement of Foni residents on Monday. The same battle between foreign forces led to the arrests of Gambian officials who were performing their duties as the deadly gun battle raged on. Gambians are losing peace, safety and security in their own sovereign state and the effect of the war on Monday could have lasting impacts on their wellbeing. We assure our displaced and affected Gambian families of our full support at all times and levels. We pray that our country continues to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere we ever know.  

We regret the loss of lives, and we pray for families of the deceased Senegalese soldiers”.

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